Epic Hoarder House Ordered Clean By Officials
It took about six years for the San Diego home pictured above to transform from 'clean' to the state it appears in. The above photo was taken by Google's Street View cameras in November of 2015, but it wasn't until late May that a cleanup of the home was even attempted, reports the San Diego Union-Tribune.
Inside the house located on the 10900 block of Belgian Street, a cleaning crew found more than 25 cats, 100 rats and four opossums. Six dead cats were also found, wrapped in plastic in a box in the home's freezer. Aside from the animals, the cleaners found bits of potentially explosive material potentially saved over from the homeowner's veteran career. Police believe the home's occupant entered and exited the residence through the kitchen window.
The cleanup comes after years of court battles and attempted visits by code enforcement officers. Code enforcement first showed up in 2010 after neighbors began reporting several "excessive storage violations." Family members and neighbors worked toe clean the house at the time, but the owner simply returned to hoarding after the first cleanup, reports CBS8
Neighbors sealed their windows, purchased air purifiers, and reported a strong stench of urine emanating from the property. Because of this, San Diego issued a barrage of municipal citations and notices. Of course, "city staff could not access the front door to contact [the homeowner] due to the large piles of junk blocking the pathway leading to the door," court documents explained.
None of the notices, however, really had any real staying power. It wasn't until an attorney named Richardson Griswold was granted legal control over the property in April that work could begin. The homeowner retains ownership of the property, but Griswold has the power to "remedy the violations," reports the Union-Tribune.
Griswold initially estimated the cleanup tab would run about $22,000. That cost, however, is estimated to increase since there is, unsurprisingly, more stuff in the house than originally estimated.
As for the homeowner, he remains anonymous. CBS8 reported the car parked in front of his home has veteran plates, but otherwise there is little public information. While the house is being cleaned, the homeowner is staying at a nearby hotel.
"My hope is his mother and people who care about him are going to help him make decisions so he doesn't fall into a repeat pattern" Griswold said to the Union-Tribune. "It sometimes takes something pretty dramatic for change to happen."
The Daily Mail has a batch of unsettling images from inside the home, but you can also see the home's slow envelopment-by-clutter on Google Street View: